The term hit-and-run is used to describe a road accident where the driver responsible for the accident flees from the accident scene, and despite reasonable efforts, neither the vehicle nor the driver can be traced.
The guidelines and necessary proceedings for a hit-and-run car accident are defined in Section 161 of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act. If you happen to get involved in an accident of this nature, here is what you need to do in order to claim hit and run insurance coverage.
Note Important Details of Hit and Run Case Offender:
Though difficult, remaining calm and alert in the unfortunate event of an accident eventually turns out to be extremely useful. Do not try to follow the offender– not only will you be unable to catch up, but you may also lose access to important witnesses at the accident scene.
Instead, try noting the fleeing car’s details like the number and car model. This information can help the police and other involved authorities gather crucial information and clues.
Engage with the Witnesses of Car Accident
It is very important to talk to the witnesses and ask if they are willing to testify for you. If yes, take their names and numbers. Witness testimony not only strengthens the case for hit and run insurance compensation, but it also assists the lawful authorities to track down the suspect much quickly.
File a First Information Report of Hit & Car Incidence
A First Information Report or FIR is a report that the police prepares to register an accident and document all the information that the hit and run insurance claimant provides. Only after the FIR is filed do the police begin the necessary investigations on the case.
Hit & Run Car Insurance Claim Procedure
After these basic steps are covered, the claimant can apply for hit and run insurance compensation in the following manner:
- The victim of the hit-and-run accident or his legal representative must file an application to the Claims Enquiry Officer in the respective Taluka. It must be noted that this application can be filed only by the accident victim who has sustained serious injuries or suffered property damages.
- The injured party/victim is free to appoint his/her family member or even an agent as a legal representative.
- If a death occurs in the accident, the legal representative can file for compensation on the deceased person’s family’s behalf.
- After making all due enquiries, the Claims Enquiry Officer will submit his report, along with other relevant documents like injury certificate or post mortem certificate to the Claim Settlement Commissioner.
- The Claim Settlement Commissioner will coordinate with the District Collector or the Deputy Commissioner at the district level, following which, the claim will be processed.
- The compensation dues will be sanctioned within 15 days from the time the Claim Enquiry Officer receives the report. He will then communicate the sanction order to the nominated office of the concerned insurance company.
Note: Currently, there is no restriction/limit concerning the number of days after the accident, within which the compensation application must be filed.
Before beginning the claim process for a hit-and-run case, keeping the below pointers in mind would help:
- To receive the deserved hit and run insurance compensation, it is necessary to prove that the offender was indeed a negligent driver who drove rashly. This is important to support the testimony from the witnesses.
- It is necessary to get a report from the police confirming that the offender could not be traced. In the event that the offender is caught, the hit and run insurance claimant does not stand eligible to receive any compensation.
In case the hit and run insurance compensation has already been paid out, the claimant will need to refund the money. To this end, the hit and run insurance claimant will also need to submit an undertaking in accordance with the Indian Motor Vehicles Act.
Compensation Fixed Under the Act
The hit and run insurance compensation is paid out from a Solatium Fund. This hit and run insurance fund is a scheme formed by the Central Government to compensate victims of hit-and-run car accidents. The Solatium Fund is contributed by the general insurance industry as per an agreed formula.
Section 161 provides for compensation payments as mentioned below:
- A fixed sum of INR 12,500, in the event of grievous injury to any person resulting from a hit-and-run vehicle accident.
- A fixed sum of INR 25,000, in the event of demise of any person resulting from a hit-and-run vehicle accident.
Adversity is uninvited and unavoidable. However, having a car insurance policy in place and keeping the above points in mind can help one claim hit and run insurance.
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